Thursday, August 7, 2008

Such is Life

I was reading some random blogs today and I happen to chance upon one in particular which I could relate to. The blogger laments that when he is not at his desktop he thinks of so many things that he would like to blog about but when he finally sits to do so, he goes blank. It couldn't be more true for me!
Once you get into the blogging grove, you think of so many things that you might have to say to the world, so many sketchy thoughts which you think you wil explore better as you write about them and share with others. But when it comes to the actual act, one seems to be at a loss of inspiration.
This is not to say that the world around me lacks any inspiration. I am constantly being bombarded by various stimuli which gets my head buzzing like the knob of a steaming pressure cooker. Perhaps if I had attempted to express them that instant, they would've held their prominance. However, as time passes and I keep defering the act of writing it out, the thoughts like the steam, fizzles off.
To state a few instances, the consecutive terror attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad left most people in the country beddazzled. Metro Now had a special four page coverage of the after effects of the grotesque incident. I remember I was teary eyed at my breakfast table while I read about a 9 year old boy and his 7 year old sister who, beside being physically wounded, will also carry deeply engroved mental scars from the incident. Both the children have been rendered mute by the shock and horror of what had happened. What could I possibly "say" about this? NO words are strong enough to express what I felt at that moment.
However, as time passed and people moved on, this piece of news which had shocked me out of sleep-ridden mental state, became a piece of information, a statistical data, only to be computed. Does anyone care? Momentarily, perhaps. First, sheer shock and then anger riddled with an element of fear- what if it is one of our own next? But as we get back into the daily grind, these feelings sediment within the depths of our mind and life's guiles help to filter out the residual effects with time; and ofcourse, I am no exception to the phenomena.
It seems we have been exposed to so much brutality, blood and murder that these sights fail to move us further than a certain point. We are a generation of desensitised, self-centered individuals. Infact, as Amartya Sen points out in his book Violence and Identity, in India, most people consider violence the means with which to etch out the parameters of their being. Afterall, the nation that we are talking of , was born in a post-modern world, of a very difficult labour. India had to calim for itself an existance that it had been denied. It had to battle for it's right to persist, thrash in violent attempts to breathe, hurt itself in the process and yet remarkably ascertain an identity for itself through bloodshed.
Our civilisation is like one of those timeless fortresses, which uphold their scars and battered structures as the essence of their being. The lives that reside within such monuments-plants, birds, rodents and reptiles, turn indifferent to the surroundings as long as they are able to sustain themselves. People who live in this country are no different.
The heights of insensitivity was probably manifested in a group of people, who either in order to settle personal scores with high officials, or simply to gather some sort of demented, sick amusement, made false proclaimations of more blasts. I fail to understand these people. Do they even understand what it is to have lives wiped off in a blink? For God sake, these are real lives that we are talking about, not some virtual strategy game!
As I read these news articles day after day, there were a myraid of questions battling in my mind. Why are they doing this? What do they want? Can't there be any other way of settling this? WHY? My mind was screaming for some sort of logic, some rationale so as to be able to make something of the world around me, to be able to salvage the sanctity of human sanity.

Believe it or not, the first hint to an answer came to me through some movies that I've recently seen-

Alfred to Batman: I don't think you understand this man. He needs no motive, it is not money or power that he is after. " Some people just like to stand back and watch the world burn." -The Dark Knight

"The first rule of mission havoc is you do not ask any questions." -Fight Club.

Do I need to spell out the answer or does the chill running down your spine tell you all that you need to know?

There was another, more recent report in Metro Now that caught my attention one morning. It read- "Auto driver kills man for 2 rupees." The auto driver who had demanded Rs.12 from his passenger had been so ticked off when he was haggled with, that he brought out an iron rod and struck the man on his head and then drove his vehicle over the body rpeatedly, until he was assured that he was dead.
Along with this incident, there were a few more similar instances- one of a man killing his friend when he refused to buy him alcohol, another of a man stabbing his milkman when he refused to give him some extra milk for the day and so on. This article was followed by a by-line which stated that Intermittent Explosive Disorder is different from merely being short tempered. When a person is suspected of suffering from exceptional temper issues, he must be treated immediately or else he may prove to be dangerous, both for those around him as well as himself.
I was left wondering how I would recognise an extraordinary temper outburst from an ordinary one. Afterall, there are so many people around me, friends and family, who sometimes overreact to the point that they break things around them or try to hurt either themselves or the person infront despite the fact that they do not have enough reason to unleash so much violence. Some of the most logical people I know sometimes blow their top to the extent that they end up doing or saying things that they later regret. I can remember instances, only too well, when I had to struggle hard to keep myself from physically lashing out. How much is too much???

It would perhaps be an exaggeration to say that most of us our susceptible to some sort of explosive disorder, but I don't consider myself off the mark when I say that we are an insecure lot of people, who traverse the brink of insanity by living in this world each day.

In the words of the Joker, from The Dark Knight, " Madness is like gravity, all it needs is a slight push."

Terrorism is undoubtedly born of socio-political factors, but it contains a certain madness which I suspect lurks even in the best of us. After a point, the motives, whatever they maybe, recede to make way for an illogical thirst for blood. The only way to not give into it is to keep a tight reign over one's sense of logic. But what use is logic, when everything around you is disintegrating into inexplicable, but perceptibly real debris?

Even though such thoughts take their hold over me at times, it's not too long before I wipe off my clammy hands and put them to some use. As one of my close friends said, "what is the use of thinking about it when you aren't being able to do anything?"
So, I put my mind to 'better' use and think about those inane things that need my attention and thrust these ruminations back into some security vault of my mind.
I read the news, fold the paper and go on with my day. I try not to look too closely at the group of people with their banners proclaiming hunger strike around Jantar Mantar, as I make my way towards Janpath to meet a friend for lunch.
We meet up and congratulate each other on having made it to premier educational institues of the country. We are confident. We know shall inherit this world. We the harbingers of logic and sanity shall stand over the ruins of the world and place our seal of ownership over it. Why then, am I not satisfied?


saurabh said...

random blog surfing has it's merits-a few thoughts:
-touche-i was just thinking the same,how many random thoughts i have which i would like to express on my blog but rarely do...& that after much needling.
-depends on how one defines 'inheriting the world'.

..u write

Jitendra Gupta said...

I was searching for a book "Waiting for godot" on the net, while I came to your blog randomly. I had read your post "such is life" fully and agree with you. I think that you have brilliant thoughts.
I like the line in which you have relate the film dialogue with real terrorism- " Some people just like to stand back and watch the world burn."
In addition to this, there is a real life dialogue- "what is the use of thinking about it when you aren't being able to do anything?"
I found a number of persons who says such line to me also in my day to day life but I never care for them. Because I know it is my thinking which makes me different from them. so thinking have some use to make a difference between peoples.

why don't you write any book? you have excellent analytic and communicative skills.

Take care bye.....